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Stadia Games Stay In Your Library, Even If They're No Longer Sold

Google is blitzing the media this week, and we're learning a whole lot more about the company's Stadia game streaming service as a result. This latest bit of news should make some players pretty happy; especially those who worry about how much ownership they'll have over their Stadia purchases.

IGN is reporting that games purchased by Stadia users will not be affected should a publisher decide to stop selling that game. The game will continue to remain in the user's library, where they'll continue to have access to it via Stadia. And players will still be able to play the game on the devices of their choice.

"Now there may be, as we've seen in the past, times where the developer or publisher no longer has rights to sell to new players," Stadia chief Phil Harrison told reporters. "And that means that the game will not be available to new players, but it will continue to be available to existing players."

That is some welcome news.

Since Google Stadia was first announced months ago, there's been a fair amount of debate about how the dynamic of streaming rather than downloading would change video game ownership. Many expressed their fears about the streaming future, believing that a publisher could pull a game down at any time and for any reason. And you can imagine how those fears might've played out in some cases.

For example, imagine EA removing Madden NFL 20 from every Stadia library when Madden NFL 21 goes on sale. That sounds awful, doesn't it?

Fortunately, it can't happen. EA could very well stop selling Madden NFL 20 to new players, just as it could on any other platform. But according to Phil Harrison, those who've already purchased Madden NFL 20 would still be able to play it. So on that front, at least, there's nothing to worry about.

We still have a whole lot of questions about where our games go should Google decide that Stadia isn't working out. But those are the kinds of questions Google isn't remotely entertaining at this point, because Stadia hasn't even launched yet.

Should we learn more about Stadia leading up to its arrival later this fall, we'll let you know.